Boxelder Bug

Boisea trivittata (Say)

Free Estimate

What is a Boxelder Bug?

Boxelder bugs get their common name from the fact that they are often found on and around boxelder trees. This species is native to the western states but can be found from eastern Canada throughout the eastern United States, and west to eastern Nevada, wherever boxelder trees are found. Boxelder bugs are primarily a nuisance pest as they enter structures, including homes, sheds and garages to overwinter.

Pest Stats

  • Color: Black with reddish or orange markings on dorsum
  • Legs: 6
  • Shape: Elongate-oval, somewhat flattened with head narrower than pronotum
  • Size: 1/2” (11-14 mm)
  • Antennae: Yes

“I called Pest Management Systems, Inc. requesting information about pest services concerning a particular insect I was seeing in my rental property. The receptionist was very knowledgeable concerning the insect with regards to how they breed and their season for egg hatching. She also advised me of alternative approaches to handle the situation. I really appreciate the fact that Pest Management Systems, Inc. did not attempt to sell a service that probably would not have provided the results I wished (like other popular pest control companies in my area attempted to do). I will definitely consider Pest Management Systems, Inc. in the near future. ”

Harold, Verified Google Review

What Do Boxelder Bugs Look Like?

Boxelder bugs are black with reddish or orange markings on their back. Adult boxelder bugs have a body shape that is a somewhat flattened and elongated oval and is about half an inch long. They have six legs and two antennae that are typically half of their body length. Nymphs look like adults but lack wings and are bright red in color.

Signs of an Infestation

Boxelder bugs generally become a problem when they invade homes, sheds and garages in the fall and when they emerge in the spring. Like many overwintering pests, homeowners may see evidence of these bugs as the winter ends and they leave their overwintering site to go back outdoors.

Boxelder Bugs Prevention

How To Get Rid Of Boxelder Bugs

In order to prevent boxelder bugs from invading homes, repair holes in window and door screens, seal cracks and crevices with a good quality silicone or silicone-latex caulk and install door sweeps to all exterior entrances.

When getting rid of boxelder bugs that have already entered a home or building, no attempt should be made to kill them in wall voids because dead insect bodies can attract dermestid beetles (larder beetles, carpet beetles, etc.). Experts recommend waiting until summer when all live overwintering adults are out of the wall voids. To provide temporary relief during this time, consider using a vacuum cleaner to get rid of the boxelder bugs. Then, seal up any entryways into the living space – window pulleys, window and door frames, baseboards, etc. – to prevent a future infestation.

If a boxelder bug infestation is suspected, please contact PMi for advice or to schedule an inspection at 336-272-4400.

Do Boxelder Bugs Bite?

Boxelder bugs are not known to bite, but their piercing-sucking mouthparts can occasionally puncture skin, causing a slight irritation and producing a red spot like a mosquito bite.

Threats

Inside, boxelder bugs are primarily a nuisance pest, however their fecal material can cause a red stain on curtains, drapes, clothing, etc. When crushed or handled roughly, boxelder bugs can also produce a strong, disagreeable odor.

Habitat

In autumn, boxelder bugs become gregarious and congregate on the south side of rocks, trees and buildings where the sun hits. After large masses gather, they migrate to nearby buildings or homes to overwinter. These pests tend to hide in small cracks and crevices in walls to insulate themselves from the cold winter temperatures. In late March to early April, adults leave their overwintering sites to return to their host trees for the warmer months.

Resources

full-service pest control company and technicians

Pest Library

WE ARE A FULL-SERVICE PEST CONTROL COMPANY

Learn More

Blog

CHECK OUT OUR BLOGS AND ARTICLES

Learn More

Request Quote
Request an Appointment
  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY